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Hummus Four Ways

by Karen Marquardt

No summer party is complete without dip, and one of my favorite dips is hummus. Hummus in it’s basic form is a chickpea and sesame dip that is popular all across the Mediterranean, but individual recipes can vary widely. Here in the U.S. we have become used to the basic hummus and variations like olive, roasted red pepper and southwestern. This Middle Eastern staple is easy to make, and easy to modify. Please enjoy.

Basic Recipe:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cans cooked chickpeas (about 3 cups), rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
  • salt (to taste)
  • ¼ cup tahini (available at Asian and Middle Eastern markets)
  • ½ cup sesame seeds (optional, but they do give a brighter flavor to the hummus)
  1. Toast sesame seeds in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Keep the seeds moving to prevent burning. Grind in food processor or blender.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are translucent (just for fun, you can use a red onion, and have pink hummus when you are done)
  3. In a blender or food processor, process all the ingredients until a smooth paste is formed
  4. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little paprika. This recipe makes 3-4 cups of hummus, and is easily divided to make the variations.


  1. Olive hummus: Finely mince 2 tablespoons of Kalamata or other strongly flavored olives. Blend half into 1/4 of the basic recipe. Serve with remaining olives on top with a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Sun-dried tomato hummus: Dice 1-2 tablespoons of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Blend sund-ried tomatoes into 1/4 of the basic recipe. Top with a drizzle of the oil from the tomatoes.
  3. Southwestern style hummus: Add ½ tsp cumin, ¼ teaspoon chili powder and 1-4 tablespoons diced green chiles (I use canned because I always have them on hand) to the basic recipe. Can be topped with some diced green chiles and cilantro.

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